Custom Profiles for Canon Printers

March 30, 2011

Once you create a couple of profiles, you will start to really see the common areas in your test file to gauge whether or not a profile is good or bad.

This tip will cover the creation of custom profiles for your Canon printer. I will go through the process step-by-step using the Profile Maker Pro software from X-rite and printing out of Photoshop using the Canon printing plug-in. Let’s get started!

Generate Test Chart

The first thing we need to do is generate a test chart to print out. So, I will open the Measure Tool from the Profile Maker Pro software and you can open whatever profiling software you have to create a test chart. If everything fits properly, click the Save button and then click “ok” if the naming convention looks correct. The software now tells us where our test chars are saved on our computer.

At the very bottom of our tool palette, click the generate tab. We are creating an RGB profile, click go ahead and click the next tab. Now in this page, you want to first input your media size to determine how many pages your file needs to be. I am going to fill in my print size of 17” x 12” because I am printing to a 17” roll paper. Now your can select which tool you will be using to read the printed charts. I am using an Eye One Pro.

So, we are ready to set the number of patches. It defaults to 939 patches, but I am going to bump it up to 1550 because I like to have a higher number of patches for my profiles. We can now give our test charts a name but I am going to use the generic name from the software. Now we are ready to generate, so click the Generate Patches tab. This will render out in the preview window what our patches will look like on our selected media size.

Now, open Photoshop and navigate to our test charts. It says that we need to go into: Applications > Profile Maker Pro > Test charts > Printer > Eye One Pro and here are the test charts! Let’s bring them into Photoshop to print. Now, you may wonder what is the correct Media Type to use in the Canon printing plug-in? Well, there is a test to use to determine your Media Type.

Bleed Test

To determine Media Types, I have created an image file in Photoshop with a couple necessary elements for this test. It is made up of an area of 100% yellow right next to an area at 100% black, and also includes a color ramp (optional but helpful). When printing on a new paper, you may think “I could use a couple of different media types, which one is best?” Well, just print out this bleed test file using “No Color Management” and whatever potential media types you think could work for that paper.

Once they are all printed, view them under a loop (I prefer a 7x loop) and look into the areas where the black and yellow areas come together. Go with whatever media type that has the least amount of bleeding of the ink. Now you are ready to print using this media type. But remember to print your test charts using No Color Management because this is a key element for profile creation.

Scanning Test Chart

It is usually good to leave your charts set in a dark – dust free area for at least 30 minutes after printing. Now we are ready to read our patches, so get out your spectrophotometer and connect it to the computer, then open your profiling software. I am going to use Profile Maker Pro for this example. Make sure you are working under the printer tab and go ahead and select the test chart name that we created under Reference Data.

Then, go under Measurement Data and select the tool that you are using to scan your charts. I am using the Eye One Pro. This will activate the scanning window so you scan row by row until all your patches are scanned. Once completed it is time to save this scanned information and generate your profile.

Generate Profile

Here are the settings for your profile creating: Profile size leave on Default, Perceptual Rendering Intent set to Paper – colored gray, and Gamut Mapping to Logo Classic and generally most profiles generated use D50 as a viewing light source because this is for Daylight balanced lights. Under Calculate Profile, click the Start button and save your profile in the folder. For Mac, it goes in the Mac Hard drive > Color Sync > Profiles. For PC it goes in: C Drive > Windows > System 32 > Spool > Drivers > Color. Now, once your profile is created you must view the quality and make a test print.

Preview Quality of Custom Profile

In order to test a profile you want a compilation of images with these characteristics: a high saturation image as well as a black and white image. You need color ramps as well as black and white ramps, which are just a gradient from least saturated to most saturated. Also, you want an image with skin tones, especially one that has a harsh dark to light transition. Once you create a couple of profiles you will start to really see the common areas in your test file to gauge whether or not a profile is good or bad.

Printing with Labels

Here is one more little tip for making profiles: If you are creating a number of test prints but don’t want to confuse which is which after you’ve printed you can print a label right onto your paper. You can actually do this right in the Canon Print Plug-in when you export an image to print. Just go up to File > Export > iPF5100 Print Plug-in (for example). Once exported, click on the Print History tab. You can click on edit comment and create a custom label that will print right on to your final print.

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